I got to thinking about scenes from movies that move me to tears and then made a little list:
The “Baby Mine” sequence from Dumbo (1941) - don’t laugh. Watch for yourself and have some kleenex handy.
The end of Dead Poets Society: “Captain My Captain!” (1989). RIP Robin Williams.
The tragic conclusion of Grave of the Fireflies (1988) - Very possibly the saddest movie I have ever seen.
The scene in Terms of Endearment (1983) where Debra Winger says goodbye to her two young sons from her hospital bed; also the scene where she actually dies. Dismiss this as a “chick flick” in my presence at your peril.
The plane crash sequence at the end of Fearless (1993), where we see what really happened through Jeff Bridges’ eyes, how he survived while most of the other passengers died.
The end of Brokeback Mountain (2005): “Jack, I swear.”
The end of The Hours (2000) - it’s not one scene that gets me so much, it’s more of a cumulative thing.
The climax of the original Japanese version of the ghost story Dark Water (2002), where the mother sacrifices herself to save her daughter, who is crying out for her.
The footage from the candlelight vigil from the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (1984).
Ordinary People (1980): the final scene between Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch) & Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton):
Berger: You’re alive. Don’t say you don’t feel that.
Conrad: It doesn’t feel good.
Berger: It is. Believe me.
Conrad: How do you know?
Berger: Because I’m your friend.
Boo hoo! I love all these movies. Watch ‘em and weep, I say (or watch the ones that make you weep. A good cry is cathartic).
Images from up top: Dumbo; Dead Poets Society, Grave of the Fireflies, Brokeback Mountain